Healthcare Articles

Caregiver nation: New tools to manage a family members health as well as your own

There are all kinds of free educational opportunities designed to help family caregivers jump into their roles and better manage their own health. Family caregiver education is available in classes or workshops you attend in person. The Internet offers how-to articles, videos, podcasts, books, and guides for caregivers. Topics range from the basics of caregiving to the more nuanced challenges, such as communicating with a person with dementia. Many classes focus on how to cope as a caregiver and maintain one’s health and wellness. (Locked) More »

Dealing with high-density breasts

High breast density is a risk factor for breast cancer that is typically detected on a mammogram. The FDA is proposing that mammography facilities tell women if they have high density, but there are no definitive rules in place that tell doctors how to best manage these women to reduce risk. Some strategies you can use if you have high breast density are to have a conversation with your doctor about breast cancer risk and reducing alcohol use. (Locked) More »

The doctor will see you now, in your home

Home-based medical care enables older adults to receive regular medical care—from doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, or other providers—right in their own homes. These house calls are typically covered by insurance, as long as the health care provider certifies that the visit is medically necessary and that the patient has a condition that restricts the ability to leave home. The benefits go beyond getting necessary medical care. Home visits help foster the provider-patient relationship, and they give providers a better understanding of a person’s daily health challenges. (Locked) More »

What to do if your medication is recalled

When a medication is recalled, caution is a must. It might be okay to stop taking a recalled medication if it’s an over-the-counter drug such as an allergy, headache, cold, or sleep remedy that’s meant only to relieve occasional symptoms. But one should speak with a pharmacist or doctor before stopping a prescription medication. The pharmacy may be able to get the same medication from a different drug company. If there are no other manufacturers available, either the patient or pharmacy can contact the doctor to switch to another medication. (Locked) More »

Tips for success when your kids are on your health care team

Having adult children help with their parents’ health care can be tricky. There’s a tendency for roles to reverse, with the child acting as a parent. Or the parent doesn’t want to burden the child, and lets health issues go until they’re too far gone. To make the arrangement a successful one, it helps to talk openly about necessary time commitments; decide in advance how much health information the adult child can access; and determine how much input the adult child will have in the treatment plan. (Locked) More »

7 reasons why you may need a medication check-up

It’s important to have a doctor look over one’s medication regimen frequently. This is because things can change in between doctor visits, and adjustments may need to be made. Reasons why that might occur include taking a lot of pills, which can increase the risk of error or adverse drug interactions; taking over-the-counter medications without a doctor’s supervision; or experiencing medication side effects. One should also see a primary care doctor two weeks after discharge from a hospital, to see how any new medications are working. (Locked) More »

A new approach to cancer diagnosis

Tissue biopsies are the standard test for identifying cancer, but another approach, called a liquid biopsy, may provide a diagnosis when a traditional biopsy doesn’t. It uses a person’s blood to detect cancer and can help determine the right therapy. More »